After years of flying away to city breaks, this summer holiday was all about the staycation.
There was something freeing about being able to just chuck your stuff in the back of the car and drive off. For this staycation we went to Wales. This was the perfect location to get back to nature, disconnect from technology, live in the moment and re-charge on the important things in life.
I don’t know about you but when I imagine a trip to Wales, I picture fields and mountains and sheep as far as the eye can see. We packed our wellies, trainers, all the gym gear we owned and drove to the Brecon Beacons in mid-Wales to make this vision reality.
After lots of walking and exploring, I’ve put together a budget-friendly guide of my top things to do in or around the Brecon Beacons and mid-Wales.
Climb Pen y Fan
In Welsh, Pen y Fan translates to ‘mountains peak’ so if you want a challenge, this is it – Pen y Fan is the highest peak in south Wales. There are a few different paths and walks to reach the top of the mountain, ranging from easy to OH MY GOD NOT ANOTHER HILL MY THIGHS BURN!! It’s a hard choice because I think the harder and more strenuous walk is more of an interesting route and it pays off with stunning views. Before doing this I thought I had reasonably good fitness, this turned out to be a lie (whilst stopping regularly walking up too much on sweets!). That reminds me, I need to get back in to gyming.
Check out this site for a picture of the walking loop which starts at the main car park (which is free to park). We walked to point number 5 (on this map) and went up and round from there, but most people seem to go up the mountain from point 1.
This can walk can take anywhere between a couple of hours to half a day, depending on whether you stop for a picnic at the top – which I definitely recommend. Trainers or walking shoes are a must and wear layers as the temperate varies and gets colder the higher you get.
Four Falls Walk
Wales is well known for its majestical waterfalls and here you can find four waterfalls in one place. I guess the clue is in the name eh.
You know what’s great about visiting waterfalls in Wales (besides their obvious beauty)… the weather is notoriously unpredictable and a bit wet. If you’re gonna get wet from the rain anyway, why not do it getting up close to some waterfalls. This makes a good activity regardless of weather. Here’s a tip, the waterfalls looks even more powerful after a rainfall due to the extra water running through them.
The best bit about visiting this walking route is that you are able to walk behind the final waterfall (which is awesome, if you can do this, you should because you won’t regret it).
Make sure to take some waterproof shoes and maybe a raincoat or poncho depending on the weather. Park up at the Cwm Porth car park for £4 a day and the whole route takes roughly 3 hours to visit the four waterfalls. If you also consider yourself the exploring type, there is a huge dark cave you can wander in to. This is located a short distance and to the left of the main car park, down some steep steps.
Elan Valley is the place to be for beautiful open views of man-made lakes, reservoirs and dams. The main visitor centre has a nice café and informative staff to guide you on the various walks available. You can also hire push bikes or mountain bikes here if you’ve had enough of walking. There are so many options to choose from, depending on what type or route or scenery you wish to visit. This makes a great place to stop for some lunch or a snack. Head to the café and enjoy their wide selection of hot and cold foods, or bring some snacks and sit at one of the many benches and enjoy the views.
If you know me well, you’ll know I love a forest, and this forest is huge! Even the drive to reach the car park is breath-taking with its vast views of mountainous greenery. What is so wonderful about this forest is that because of its sheer size you’re unlikely to bump in to many people. It feels like it’s just you (and whoever you’re with), alone in the peaceful wilderness. Despite its size, there are solid walking paths and routes to choose from, depending on if you want to stick beside a river stream (with some waterfalls) or to delve deep into the woodland.
I feel like I’ve just scraped the surface of all the awesome things to do in Mid-Wales! We’re all about sharing is caring here at She’s So Wilsy – is there anything else you’d recommend doing in Wales?
On my trip to mid-Wales and the Brecon Beacons, we chose to Glamp which i definitely recommend if you’re planning a holiday here. For glamping tips and advice, check out this page.